Alex Jack: A great loss to youth sport and basketball

SCOTTISH basketball and youth sport lost one of its greatest servants last week with the death of Dalkeith Saints’ founder Alex Jack on Friday. He was 84.

Alex was the driving force behind the creation of Dalkeith Saints, which evolved from the St John’s and King’s Park Lads’ Club in Dalkeith - where he was the leader - and gave the Saints their name.

Alex’s involvement with St John's began in 1933 and spanned the next seven decades.

He dedicated much of his life to youth sports, often using up annual leave to help run summer camps at Dalguise House in Perthshire.

Alex saw basketball as the ideal sport to develop team spirit and discipline and Dalkeith Saints were formed in 1964.

Along with his late wife, Betty, he helped create the friendly, family atmosphere that Saints became known for.

They were also successful, and Saints’ men’s team was one of Scotland’s top sides throughout the late 70s and early 80s, reaching three Scottish Cup finals in six years and competing in Europe, while the women's team have won the Scottish Cup twice and the Scottish League title three times in the last six years.

The club’s youth teams have won several Scottish Cup and League titles over the years.

Former Scottish Basketball Association technical officer Danny Kaye said: "He was an incredibly genuine person and put his heart and soul into the club - the youth sides especially."

Alex is survived by his son Zander, daughters Elma and Irene, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.